The Emmy nominations are being decided even as I write this. Members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences must hand in their ballots by June 28; the nominations will be announced on July 19. Why don’t we help these folks out and suggest worthy candidates? Here you’ll find some shows and performers I’m particularly high on; now, if only we could get Emmy voters equally (legally) high on them in numbers sufficient to win.
For me, Homeland is the show to beat. No, Breaking Bad is. No, Justified is… You see the ”problem” here: We’re living in a new golden age of drama! There are shows that don’t have a prayer of getting nominated — led by Fringe and tailed by the artful trash of Revenge, both certainly on my wish list — but Homeland is the new series that is so strikingly original, so unexpectedly moving, that it’s a show I really want to see nominated in this category and in many acting slots as well.
There were a lot of cable comedies that snagged attention, but let us not forget a network groundbreaker. I submit: Community. With NBC’s Community, HBO’s Girls and Enlightened, and FX’s Louie, it’s difficult to recall a season in which there were more sitcoms that reshaped the genre the way these four have, each in a distinctively different manner. But Community, especially after its recent controversy surrounding the removal of creator Dan Harmon, deserves recognition for its pure, wild quality, for a self-reflexively fantastic season of mind-bending character and plot twists.
Actor in a Drama
Yes, yes, Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston and Mad Men’s Jon Hamm for sure, but what about…Timothy Olyphant? This past season on Justified the story line refocused on Olyphant’s Raylan Givens in a way that brought out all of the actor’s most subtle skills. Whereas season 2 was a showcase for guest star (and Emmy winner) Margo Martindale, this time Raylan’s steely reserve and wily way of outwitting stone-cold killers gave the tough-guy thriller a new depth. (And can I also get an Emmy shout-out for Dustin Hoffman, so good in his first regular series role on the tragically short-lived HBO drama Luck?)
Actress in a Drama
Julianna Margulies has won for her great work as a smart woman holding it all together under pressure on The Good Wife, but shouldn’t someone who’s smart and coming apart at the seams get a shot? Playing Homeland’s Carrie Mathison, a CIA operative who seems to be brilliant at figuring out the motives and psyches of everyone except herself, Claire Danes has pulled off the difficult feat of making an unstable woman the rock-solid center of a series. As frustrating as Carrie can be, her sincerity and intelligence are never in doubt, and neither are Danes’.